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(St Eanswyth a Saxon princess)
Brenzett is a small village lying in the centre of the Romney
Marshes , built up around a ancient cross-road. The old Roman road
from Appledore to New Romney runs through the village. This was a
causeway known as the Rivi Vellum or Rhee Wall, which was built to
hold back the river Rother.
The Domesday Book records that in 1086 the land at 'Brensete' was
held by three monks from St Martins Dover.
In 1381 Brenzett was the rallying place for the followers of Wat Tyler .
Peasants gathered here from all over Romney Marsh reputedly armed with
During the reign of Henry VIII the Manor of Brenzett was part of the
possessions of Thomas Cromwell . In 1541 it passed into the hands of
of the King, and stayed with the crown until 1555, when Queen Mary
granted it to Lord Saye . Later the manor was held by several East Kent
families, however no trace remains of this manor now, and even its
site is unknown.
The church here is set back from the road, and surrounded by
trees - an unusual feature for Romney Marsh. It is a small
church, dedicated to St Eanswyth, a Saxon princess, granddaughter
of Ethelbert the first Christian King of Kent, who founded a
nunnery at Folkestone . She served her noviciate in Normandy, and
became the founder and Abbess of the nunnery of Peter and Paul,
which was built in 630.
The church belonged to the Abbey of Gynes in Artois Flanders in
the 13th century, and passed into the hands of Henry V c 1415.
It was heavily restored in 1876, but by 1902 had fallen
into a state of bad repair. The chancel and bell-turret had to
be dismantled and rebuilt. It does however retail a 13th century
priest's door and some Norman herring-bone masonry.
A 17th century alabaster monument to John Fagge and his son may
be found in the Lady Chapel. On the wall of the north arcade hang
the royal arms of King George III and behind the altar are 18th
century commandment boards.
St Eanswith at Brenzett is one of those churches supported by the
Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust .
| Brenzett has a few local services, with pubs, garages and shops nearby.
The nearest shopping centre is Rye to the west and Ashford to
the north east.
The nearest station is outside Appledore , running hourly
services to Hastings and Ashford .
| Brenzett is located in the centre of the Romney Marshes, and all
around has the feeling of openness.
The church is quite pretty and is worth visiting, if the door is
locked the old iron key may be obtained from the cottage at the
end of the small drive to the church. Beware the church is not
in Church Lane, but down a small drive about 100 yards away.